Preliminary thread for a future Falkland Islands AU
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Author:  Oberon_706 [ July 2nd, 2017, 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Preliminary thread for a future Falkland Islands AU

Wow, it has been a while!

However I have been busy during the interbellum, - I hope that the following meets with your collective approval :)

I present the next developments in the DCFI's Cruiser series - the two classes shown being constructed during the WW1 to Mid-1930's period.

Elusive Class - (1917-1951)


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Designed in 1916, the DCFI’s Elusive Class Light Cruiser was inspired by an intermediate Admiralty sketch design of 1912 known as the "Atlantic Cruiser", armed with a combination of 7.5 and 6-inch (190 and 152 mm) guns - a concept that would later be refined into the RN's Hawkins class of 1917. The Elusive class were intended to be the first tranche of a class of nine 10,000 Ton, 6" cruisers with greater range, better sea-keeping and a more balanced armour scheme than the pre-war designed Chatham/Birmingham classes. Whilst the main armament was largely the same as their forebears, the guns mounted were intended to be longer in calibre and mated to state of the art fire control and range finding gear, whilst the secondary armament was to be strengthened and refined for greater effect against aircraft. 6 torpedo tubes were built into the hull below the waterline. Rapid changes in naval technology and tactics during the war resulted in significant design changes that were finalised in mid 1917, the class having been laid down in January of that year in three Falklands yards. HMFS Elusive took to the water in June 1918, and was armed from the outset with 10 x 6” guns in five twin turrets, arranged in a super-firing configuration fore and aft. This was a first for a cruiser of this size and such was only possible thanks to the leveraging of turret design data from the Anglo/Brazilian Javary-class gunboats (Humber class in RN service throughout WW1). Secondary armament was provided by a battery of 6 x 4” guns in shielded HA mounts, along with 6 x quad .50 Vickers MG Mounts for close-in AA defence. Accommodation of this class-leading armament meant that the hull form of the Elusive class was some-what beamier than the Hawkins class, but of roughly the same length and draught, with a flared bow and improved bilge keels for better seakeeping in the stormy South Atlantic. This produced a better sea boat, and a more stable gun platform, being able to sprint at a maximum of 29 knots on flat seas (one knot less than the Hawkins design). Turbine propulsion equipment and a more nuanced armour scheme allowed the class to come in at just over the 10,000 ton design requirement. Uncertainty over the relevance of the class post-war, as well as murmurings from the USA about a forthcoming naval disarmament conference meant that no more ships were begun after HMFS Empire took to the water on 13 November, 1918, just two days after the Austro-German armistice came into effect.

The class (and their Ethereal class follow-on brethren) formed the core of the DCFI’s Light Cruiser force during the 1920's and 30's and were an integral part of the eventual victory over Argentina in the 1928-1931 Border Wars. A major rebuilding program begun in the early 1930's saw the class reconstructed with modern propulsion systems, improving fuel economy and permitting an increase in maximum speed to 32 knots. Up-to-date fire control and range-finding equipment was mounted on this new superstructure, partly inspired by that of the HMS Exeter and the Leander class light cruisers of the RN. This allowed a revised and upgraded AA armament and an aircraft catapult for a spotter seaplane to be fitted. The AA armaments were transitioned from single 4” HAs and quad .50 MGs to twin 4” Mk. XVI HA mounts and quad 40mm Bofors guns. A nominal ASW capability was maintained throughout the life of the class with depth charge racks and two Depth Charge throwers aft on the quarter-deck, as well as the fitment of retractable ASDIC domes during the 1930’s refits.

space-saver for rebuilt Elusive Class

The class all fought with distinction during WW2 but only one, HMFS Elusive herself, survived. HMFS Excellent ran out of luck whilst escorting the Pedestal convoy to Malta during 1942, downing 4 Stukas and dodging 7 bombs before being hit twice off Pantellaria. With her superstructure well ablaze and her quarter-deck awash, she limped into Valetta Grand Harbour only to be sunk at anchor during a subsequent air raid. After a successful campaign off Norway, during which she provided fire support to the Anglo-French-Free Polish assault on Narvik and sank a German Destroyer off Trondheim, HMFS Empire spent much of the rest of the war escorting the South Atlantic convoys from the DCFI and the Rio Dela Plata to Britain, and it was on these duties that she was torpedoed and sunk by a U-Boat during 1943. HMFS Elusive served with distinction in the South Atlantic and Mediterranean, contributing to the defence of numerous convoys and the victory over the South American members of the Axis before being retired to reserve in 1946. She was finally sent to the Breakers in 1951, her 'A' turret being preserved as a war memorial at the Ardrossan Naval Base on the Gulf of San Matias.

I'm sure there's some room for improvement here so any constructive comments are (as always) very welcome :D


Author:  Oberon_706 [ July 2nd, 2017, 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Preliminary thread for a future Falkland Islands AU

Ethereal Class Light Cruiser - (1929-1961)


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The Ethereal Class Light Cruisers (CL) were the result of a prolonged rethink on the nature of cruiser design in the years following WW1. Originally planned to be the second and third tranches of the Elusive class cruisers designed and built during WW1, the construction of these six ships was delayed in the aftermath of the war in order to take lessons from the conflict and technological developments into account. Additionally, the Washington Naval Treaties loomed as a restriction on the size, armament and numbers of ships the DCFI could build and field in the future, and thus the first of the new cruisers was not commenced in build until the treaties had been concluded and signed in 1921/22. The first of six ships to a revised design were ordered from DCFI and UK yards during 1928, with the last of the class (HMFS Ethalion) entering service in 1935. In most respects, they were the equivalent of what became the Southampton (and derivative) Classes in RN service, although still built on a development of the Elusive/Hawkins Hull to the 10,000 ton dry displacement limit used for the Elusive Class, allowing the greater range and seakeeping abilities critical to operations in the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific. The class carried 12 x 6” guns in 4x Mk.V turrets , with 4 x 4” and 3 quad Pom-Pom secondaries and a battery of 6 torpedo tubes. From the outset, the class was also designed to permit the carriage of a spotter aircraft with a crane and turntable/catapault fitted.

space saver for mid-late WW2 condition Ethereal Class

The Class served successfully in fleet and convoy protection roles, seeing extensive action during WW2, Ethalion, Elite and Ethereal all saw service in the hunt for the Graf Spee before being sent to the Mediterranean, where Ethereal combined with the Australian Light Cruiser, Sydney to sink the Italian Light Cruiser Bartolemeo Collioni during the Battle of Cape Spada, Elite was sunk by a U-boat on a Malta Convoy and Endurance successfully operated from Malta with Force K against the Italian convoys to Tripoli. Endevour was badly damaged in an air raid whilst quayside at Portsmouth during the battle of Britain and (after being made seaworthy) was returned to the DCFI for repair and refit, emerging from Ardrossan Naval Dockyard in 1942 to spend the rest of the war on convoy duty. The rest of the class were contained on South Atlantic convoy escort work or (after December, 1941) sent to bolster the Anglo-British Far-Eastern fleets operating against the Japanese Navy. Ethalion and Ethereal were controversially lost in the lop-sided naval battles of 1942 and Elegant was the first ship on the scene after the mutually destructive engagement between HMAS Sydney and the German Raider, Kormoran, aiding in the rescue of the Kormoran’s crew. Endurance and Elegant were part of the substantial DCFI presence at the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay, a fitting tribute to the classes contribution to victory. Post-war, the surviving ships were relegated to reserve status by the middle 50's, all being decommissioned and scrapped by 1961 as the RFN was rationalised and modernised to meet the challenges of the Nuclear Age.

As always, constructive comment is welcome :D


Author:  Novice [ July 2nd, 2017, 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Preliminary thread for a future Falkland Islands AU

These two are very nice ships. I also like the new flag you had attached to both ships.
So, welcome back again, and hope to see more

Author:  Blackbuck [ July 2nd, 2017, 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Preliminary thread for a future Falkland Islands AU

Welcome back! As for the cruisers, not bad at all. :) I should say though I much prefer the aesthetics of the Elusive over the Ethereal.

A minor thing with Ethereal though. I'd consider moving the 4" mounts around to get better firing arcs. Perhaps relocate the torpedo tubes aft whilst moving the 4" guns forward and widening their separation slightly. I'd also consider raising the forward two-pounders up a deck.

Author:  Krakatoa [ July 2nd, 2017, 9:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Preliminary thread for a future Falkland Islands AU

Those are good looking ships in the RN mould. The gathering together of the parts and execution of the drawings is first class.

The only bit that strikes me as a bit odd is the superstructure on the Ethalion. I designed that bit of kit for 25,000+ BB/BC's and it is a bit big for a 10,000 ton cruiser. I have had a play with the size of the bridge structure and added an open area which featured on British cruisers of this period.

Crediting. With crediting the rule of thumb is the person who has provided the most percentage of the original drawing goes first on the credit line, ie. Novice, then Krakatoa, then Oberon_706. If the only bit you have used from Garlicdesign is the turrets, then he does not need to be credited at all. Turrets and other weaponry are considered 'parts' that don't need crediting.

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Author:  Hood [ July 3rd, 2017, 7:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Preliminary thread for a future Falkland Islands AU

Very nice work Oberon.
I must admit though that Krakatoa's proposed lower forward tower does seem to fit the Ethereal better, especially since its a light cruiser. A heavy cruiser would work better with the bigger tower I think.

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